Walk 3361 - printer friendly version
Chackmore Circular Walk
Author - Allan Friswell
Length - 4.0 miles / 6.5 km
Ascent - 200 feet / 61 metres
Grade - easy
Start - OS grid reference SP687359
Lat 52.01728 + Long -1.0003224
Postcode MK18 5JG (approx. location only)
The village of Chackmore is a quiet and pretty backwater, an adjunct to the glorious Landscape Gardens of Stowe, designed by William Kent and "Capability" Brown. The Queen's Head is a cosy C18 pub offering draught Bass and Worthington bitter (no guest ales), and a broad selection of home cooked food including Sunday Roast. There is a garden, but no play facilities for children.
How to get there: From Buckingham town centre follow A422 Brackley Road, and then the brown signs to Stowe Gardens. At the end of the long straight approach of Stowe Avenue turn right into the village and the pub is on the left. Using consideration, park in the street or in the small car park at the village entrance.
Using the Queen's Head as a useful starting point, turn left on leaving the pub and walk along the main street to the left hand footpath sign about 330 yards away. Cross the field to the stile-less fencing, negotiate this and cross the next field, skirting the hawthorns in the middle and making for the left hand of two stiles. Cross to the opposite stile, climbing the hill heading initially for the spur of hedge on the right and then maintaining that line to the gap in the hedge at the far corner. The squat building of Stowe Castle is on your right as you cross.
At the gap in the hedge, and between various rusting farm machinery, the path veers to the right - cross the field keeping the second left hand power pole hard on your left. When you reach the hedges skirting the woods the path turns right but you should go through the hedge along a little obscure path slightly to the left. Go half right and make for the white gabled buildings and fir trees ahead. At the trees find the little bridge by the signpost "Farey Oak" and, having crossed it, climb the hill to the single storey dwelling in the left hand corner, where the bridleway joins from the right. As you climb ponder the reason for the mock gothic pile on your left. A church? A Victorian pumping station? The Adams Family residence? It is, in fact, the Gothic Tower of Stowe Gardens, a unique triangular building, now converted into dwellings.
After the gate, follow the left hand edge of the field all the way round, with the Bourbon Tower away to the right, until you reach the track. Negotiate the stile and gate. Turn right and walk along the track for about half a mile. Turn right at the T-junction and follow the tarmac road up towards the sports field car park. Just before this take the bridle path gate on the right signed 'Bourbon Tower & Lamport Village'. Follow the track for 25 yards. It turns left through the trees. You are now retracing your steps to some extent, passing between the little obelisk on the right and the Bourbon Tower on your left. Make for the gateway in the far corner.
Go downhill, through another gate, keeping the fence on your right, heading for the trees of Akeley Wood and the main road where you turn right. Walk along the road for half a mile, passing the entrance to Akeley Wood School, then reaching Stowe Castle where refreshments can be had. Take the footpath immediately following Stowe Castle Farmhouse, marked Chackmore. Cross to the kissing gate in the middle of the right hand fencing, then go half left cross the next to pass through the gap in the hedge. Following the same line, make for the exit from this field which is usually well-hidden about 50 yards to the right of a squat broad-trunked tree. Negotiate two stiles and a plank bridge, then go round the hawthorns to the stile where you started, next to a tree with the remains of a tree house. Make for the exit, next to a power pole. Turn right and walk back to the pub.